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Aviation: Noise

Department for Transport written question – answered on 11th March 2020.

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Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne Chair, Environmental Audit Committee, Chair, Environmental Audit Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what (a) scrutiny and (b) appeal mechanisms there are for the assessment of the effect of aircraft noise on (i) Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and (ii) and National Parks.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The government expects airports to monitor the effect of aircraft noise on their surroundings, and to seek to address any specific concerns arising from it. There are no specific scrutiny arrangements or appeal mechanisms related to the assessment of aircraft noise on Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or National Parks.

The airspace issues surrounding AONB and National Parks were considered in the department’s airspace and noise project. The outcome of this work was reflected in the Air Navigation Guidance 2017, which the department issued to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in October 2017.

The guidance requires the CAA to have regard to the statutory purposes of AONB and National Parks when considering proposals for airspace changes. When airspace changes are being considered, it is important that local circumstances, including community views on specific areas that should be avoided, are taken into account where possible. However, given the finite amount of airspace available, it will not always be possible to avoid overflying AONB and National Parks.

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